Trends in programming languages for neuroscience simulations

TitleTrends in programming languages for neuroscience simulations
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsDavison, Andrew P., Hines M. L., and Muller Eilif
JournalFrontiers in neuroscience

Neuroscience simulators allow scientists to express models in terms of biological concepts, without having to concern themselves with low-level computational details of their implementation. The expressiveness, power and ease-of-use of the simulator interface is critical in efficiently and accurately translating ideas into a working simulation. We review long-term trends in the development of programmable simulator interfaces, and examine the benefits of moving from proprietary, domain-specific languages to modern dynamic general-purpose languages, in particular Python, which provide neuroscientists with an interactive and expressive simulation development environment and easy access to state-of-the-art general-purpose tools for scientific computing.